McDonald’s Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Not all McDonald’s recipes transfer well to home cooking; even if you know what’s in the special sauce, the home version doesn’t taste as special somehow. One of their new McCafe offerings, though, is ideal for bringing home. Smoothies are popular as a quick breakfast on the go or as a healthy alternative to a sweet snack, and McDonald’s version is no exception. The chain’s Strawberry Banana Real Fruit Smoothie is easy to emulate, and it’s a healthier option than its similar McCafe Strawberry Shake. The smoothie comes in at 210 calories for a 12-ounce serving versus the 560 calories in the shake, according to the restaurant’s official website.

The name on the menu tells you the two primary flavors in this smoothie, so you’ll need fresh bananas and frozen strawberries. You can start with fresh strawberries, but frozen ones contribute to the cool, creamy texture of the finished drink. For a large smoothie, put one medium banana and about about six to eight frozen strawberries in a blender. Add two or three ice cubes and a heaping scoop of plain Greek-style yogurt. Greek yogurt is higher in protein and contributes less water, so it makes a thicker smoothie. Sweeten the smoothie with a tablespoon or more of sugar. You can always add more after it’s blended, so start with less and work your way to the right sweetness.

The McDonald’s version of the smoothie starts with a prepared base to which low-fat yogurt and ice are added. The base contains other fruit juices as sweeteners, but they contribute marginally to the overall taste. However, if you wanted to come up with something identical to the original, add a tablespoon or two of natural grape juice concentrate. Often used as a sweetener, concentrated grape juice reduces the amount of sugar in the original smoothie.

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